2013 philadelphia vendy awards

This year’s Philly Vendy Awards was held at Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown. Compared to the previous two years, West Philly and The Piazza, I think this was the perfect venue. The weather was perfect and Penn Treaty Park offered lots of space to lay on the grass, a more spread out truck setup, and beautiful views of the Delaware River and Ben Franklin Bridge.

Defending Vendy Cup champion Blake Feldman of The Smoke Truck.

Defending Vendy Cup champion Blake Feldman of The Smoke Truck.

Trucks this year were competing for four different awards: The Vendy Cup, People’s Choice, Best Dessert, and Tide sponsored Messy Yet Tasty. The judging panel consisted of Chef Andrew Gerson (Brooklyn Brewery), Emilio Mignucci (DiBruno Bros.), Chef Paul Kimport (Johnny Brenda’s/Standard Tap), and Lauren Purcell (Every Day with Rachael Ray) and the emcee was Beth Beverly (Diamond Tooth Taxidermy). There were a bunch of repeat Vendy attendees from years past, though there were a good amount of newcomers as well. Poi Dog, Christis’s Falafel Truck, KAMI, and The Cow and the Curd were just some of the newcomers.

All the trucks served great food though Poi Dog and Sugar Philly offered some of my favorites. They were serving three items: Pork Belly Adobo Taco, Spam Musubi, and Tofu Poke. I am finding myself craving spam musubi on a daily basis now. Sugar Philly offered special macarons which were inspired by cocktails found at 4 Philly establishments: Moriarty’s, Distrito, Zahav, and Lemon Hill.

The winner of Tide’s Messy Yet Tasty Award went to The Cow and the Curd. For the second year in a row, Lil’ Pop Shop won Best Dessert. The Cow and the Curd also ran home with the People’s Choice award! Last but not least, the King of Falafel took home the Vendy Cup.

I think this year’s Philly Vendy Awards have been the best yet! Can’t wait till next year.

Check out a few other photos from the event:





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2012 nyc vendy awards

It’s been two years since I last attended the NYC Vendy Awards. Like years past, they were held on Governors Island but had several other vendors and some additional award categories.

In addition to the usual categories of Vendy Cup, People’s Choice, Rookie of the Year, Best Dessert, and Most Heroic, was the Best of Market. Best of Market would be going to a truckless vendor who sets up shop in local street fairs or festivals.

Most Heroic went to Sammy Kassem and his Bay Ridge Halal truck. Sammy was recognized for his courage and perseverance, as he has dealt with a lot of harassment regarding his truck.

Nominees for Rookie of the Year were: Cambodian Cuisine Torsu (Cambodian), Chinese Mirch (Indian-Chinese), Fun Buns (Taiwanese Buns), Morocho (Peruvian Fusion), Okadaman (Japanese), and Phil’s Steaks (Philly Cheesesteaks). My favorites from this group were the okonomiyaki from Okadaman and the “whiz wit” from Phil’s Steaks. Now being a Philly resident, I’ve gained an appreciation for what exactly a cheesesteak is and how it should be. The Philly Cheesesteak is often mislabeled and misinterpreted to be something that it isn’t. That being said, I’m glad that Phil’s Steaks is doing what they do. They’re serving their steaks on Amoroso rolls and even the name of their whiz wit is an homage to how you would order a steak down in Philly. Of course, just because they look legit doesn’t mean they are. Their steaks tasted better than some places here in Philly! They took the Rookie of the Year award!

Best Dessert nominees were: Andy’s Italian Ices (water & cream ice), Coolhaus (frozen desserts), Imperial Woodpecker Sno-Balls (New Orleans style sno-balls), La Bella Torte (Italian desserts), Melt Bakery (Ice Cream Sandwiches), and Monsieur Singh Lassi (Lassi drinks & pops). Several desserts were great from Andy’s chocolate pretzel ball ice (special for the day) to Monsieur Lassi’s mango lassi shots. I really enjoyed Imperial Woodpecker’s “Tiger Blood” sno-ball, which was a cherry shaved ice topped coconut and condensed milk, and Melt Bakery’s ice cream sandwiches. In the end, the people voted Melt Bakery for Best Dessert!

In the Best of Market category were: Baby Got Back Ribs (Ribs), Lumpia Shack (Filipino inspired spring rolls), Mayhem & Stout (Braised Meat Sandwiches), Parantha Alley (Paranthas), and Pestle & Mortar (Ceviche). Having been to Lumpia Shack previously at Smorgasburg, I really like what they’re doing. They’re making Filipino spring rolls fun! Lumpia Shack took the award for Best of Market!

The nominees for the Vendy Cup & People’s Choice were: The Cinnamon Snail (Organic Vegan), Hamza and Madina (Halal), Piaztlan Authenic Mexican Food (Mexican), Tortas Nezas (Mexican Tortas), Uncle Gussy’s (Greek), and Xinjiang Prosperity Kebabs (Chinese kebabs). All of these trucks put out some fantastic food. I’m sure the judges had a tough time choosing a winner for this. I’m somewhat obsessed with Chinese kebabs. There aren’t many places I’ve found here that do it right, let alone serve Chinese kebabs. Xinjiang recreates the taste and experience of the lamb kebabs I had in China almost, if not, spot on. Obviously, Xinjiang was my favorite to win. The winner of the People’s Choice was The Cinnamon Snail and the winner for the Vendy Cup was Piaztlan Authentic Mexican Food!

Check out more photos from the Vendys after the jump:

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2012 philadelphia vendy awards

Last Saturday was the 2nd annual Philadelphia Vendy Awards. This year, the awards were held at the Lot in University City at the corner of 39th & Market Sts. Like last year, these awards are brought to you by The Street Vendor Project, a NYC based organization that supports and helps street vendors, and The Food Trust, a Philadelphia non-profit working to bring local and healthy food to the area.

There were twelve vendors competing for the Vendy Cup, People’s Choice, and Best Dessert. The twelve vendors were:

The Smoke Truck – Southern BBQ
Tacos Don Memo – Mexican
Lil Dan’s Gourmet – Italian & American
Delicias – Venezuelan
Vernalicious – Eclectic Comfort Food
King of Falafel – Middle Eastern
Foo Truck – Asian inspired Sandwiches
Yumtown – Southern, Mexican, and Asian influenced, locally sourced, seasonal food
Lil’ Pop Shop – Popsicles
Sugar Philly – French Macarons
Little Baby’s Ice Cream – Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts
Sweet Box – Cupcakes

This year’s awards were emcee’d by Anna Goldfarb (Shmitten Kitten). The judging panel this year consisted of Collin Flatt (Eater Philly), Tony Luke, Jr. (Tony Luke’s), Joy Manning (Philadelphia Magazine), Lari Robling (Philadelphia Daily News), and Marcie Turney (Barbuzzo, Jamonera).

pops from lil’ pop shop (CL from left: goat cheese w/ wine soaked figs, vietnamese iced coffee, sweet & salty summer corn)

It sure was hotter than last year’s awards. Attendance seemed to be a lot less and there was a heavy downpour at some point, but it was still a lot of fun. All the trucks put out some great food, though my favorites of the awards were the pops from Lil’ Pop Shop, especially the Goat Cheese w/ Wine Soaked Figs and Vietnamese Iced Coffee, the pulled pork & mac and cheese from The Smoke Truck, and the pulled pork grilled cheese from Vernalicious. Sugar Philly is also serving ice cream as a filling on their macarons! They served a caramel ice cream that was delicious. Little Baby’s Ice Cream had a red velvet Spodee chocolate swirl flavor that was great as well!

winners of the 2011 philly vendys, gigi and big r

The winners of the 2012 Philadelphia Vendy Awards were:

The Smoke Truck – Vendy Cup
Vernalicious – People’s Choice
Lil’ Pop Shop – Best Dessert

Check out more photos after the jump:

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